Martin Salter  took part in an actual debatethis time. See his words (and the response below.

Martin Salter
Although there is not nearly enough in the Transport Secretary’s statement to drag me into the Lobby to vote in favour of a third Heathrow runway, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that the dropping of mixed mode lifts the immediate threat of intensifying aircraft noise across communities as far afield as Reading, Watford and High Wycombe. The longer term prospects, however, are grim. Surface access to Heathrow from the west is a joke, as his Department acknowledges. We need direct rail access into London Heathrow airport. Is he giving the go-ahead today for a third runway at Heathrow, or two and a half runways, as suggested by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change?

Geoff Hoon (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Ashfield, Labour)

I think I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s observations. Certainly, it is right not to pursue the short-term benefit that would otherwise flow from mixed mode. It is right to take account of the impact of that in the surrounding area, and that is why I reached my conclusion. I agree with him that it is necessary to improve surface access to the airport, and there are several proposals under way that will do that. In addition, I mentioned in my statement BAA’s proposal in relation to Airtrack and direct surface links into terminal 5. My high-speed proposals will also significantly improve people’s ability to travel into the airport by public transportafter all, it is a major ambition to reduce the number of people who drive their cars to Heathrow, to reduce their carbon impact.

Robert WilsonRobert Wilson (Shadow Minister, Innovation, Universities and Skills; Reading East, Conservative)
Few people will take comfort from either of the Secretary of State’s statements today. My constituents already suffer considerable noise pollution from Heathrow. The statement contains no real commitment to Airtrack, no money to extend Crossrail, no commitment to a third Thames bridge in my constituency and nothing to reduce pollution. Has not the Secretary of State merely proved the old adage that the emptiest vessel rattles the loudest?

Geoff HoonGeoff Hoon (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Ashfield, Labour)

I will send the hon. Gentleman a briefing on Crossrail, as he has misunderstood. The funding for Crossrail is in place. [Interruption.] The only threat to Crossrailperhaps Mrs. Villiers is giving us the benefit of her point of view from a sedentary positionis from the prospect of a Conservative Government. The Conservative party’s proposal contains an unfunded gap. If the Conservative party cuts transport infrastructure as it proposes to do, Crossrail might not have sufficient funding.

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Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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